Crossing oceans… (part I)

Oops, I forgot to post this when arriving at Costa Rica. I’ll post now, and you can read everything about me leaving in the next entry ;)

I am sitting on the floor in Barajas airport in Madrid right now. It’s 09:24 local time and the airport is as empty as they get. This entry will not be posted right away though. I have no intention (or the means) to pay 5€ for 30 minutes of wireless Internet access (I’ll talk about this again later.)

I left home today at 4:30 a.m. I know what you’re thinking: does the world actually exist at that time in the morning? Well, apparently it does, and it’s not that bad either. If you want to find a parking spot in Maisons-Alfort (that’s where I live, in case you didn’t know, it’s right outside Paris) apparently 4 o’clock in the morning is the right time to do so… My father (God bless my private driver ;) ) took me to Orly airport.

I have no numbers with me (and I have to pay for the Internet, so can’t look for them right now) but I couldn’t help noticing that, in Orly, the screens above the check-in counters were all CRT. I wonder how big the cost involved in disposing of the CRTs is, that replacing them by less energy-consuming, and therefore more environmentaly-friendly, LCDs (to mention only a couple of their advantages) does not seem to be worth the investment…

Anyway, at Orly, Iberia made us board the plane approximately 40 minutes later than originally intended, however, we took off only 5 minutes late. Congratulations, therefore, to Iberia, who’s scoring points againts its reputation of frequent delays.

Now, back to Barajas after almost two hours of sleep in the plane. Nice airport! I have no idea how recently built or renovated it is, but it’s very nice. The laic motiv is glass: they’ve got glass panes instead of outside walls, glass elevators, glass floors, glass handrails. You get the idea.

At this time in the morning it’s still a wonderful airport. I have no idea if it gets worse afterwards, but for now everyone is still in a good mood, you can easily find a place to seat near you gate and squat an electric outlet to connect your laptop.

They do use LCDs over here, although rather scarcely. I had to walk quite a bit after getting out of the plane before finding a screen that would tell me what terminal my flight’s leaving from, and once there, I had to walk quite a bit to find another one to tell me what gate I needed to go to. All that only to find out that the gate was not indicated, but, as I said before, everybody is friendly and in a good mood so I got an answer quickly and with a smile.

(I wonder if the fact that I find everybody cheerful and friendly is because they’re really like that or it’s just that I’ve lived in Paris for too long…)

The only thing I do regret in this airport, is that WiFi is not free. Once again, I have no numbers to back me up, but I bet I’m paying enough airport taxes in my plane ticket for them to afford a good Internet connection. That, combined with an agreement with Fon, where the airport would get a cut on credit bought by Aliens (people who are not part of the Fon network), should be enough allow Linuses to get free Internet access. Well, the world’s not perfect… If I find a suggestion box let them know what I think…

I guess I’m going to stop here for now. My flight only leaves in two hours, but I’d like to get a seat near my gate. Right now I’m on the floor squatting an electric outlet because my laptop’s battery lasts for like 10 minutes on a full charge. I guess it’s time to change battery, laptop or both. But well, that’s something else I can’t really afford right now.

If you read all this, you might be wondering where I’m going, since I left Paris for Madrid, but I’m waiting for a plane here too. I’m going to Costa Rica! My home country. On the other side of the Atlantic ocean (hence the title.) Why? That’s a subject for another entry.

For now, I’ll wish myself me good a flight, and I’ll write again (and actually publish this entry) once I get over there.